By Christian Morrow
Executive VP and COO Diana Charletta says her firm Equitrans Midstream is a “1-year-old company with a 135-year history” in the oil and natural gas business. That is because, as she explained to the African American Chamber of Commerce PowerBreakfast audience, May 23, it was spun off from EQT last year and is now a publicly traded, stand-alone company. But it’s more than that.
“Today it is the third-largest gas gathering company in the country,” she said. “In April we acquired Eureka Midstream in Ohio and Hornet Midstream in West Virginia. We are also partnering on the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia, the Southgate Pipeline from Virginia to North Carolina and three other pipelines specifically for powerplants.”
In energy industry parlance, midstream companies gather, store and transmit natural gas and by-products like ethane from the upstream producers, drillers, and frackers like EQT to downstream residential and commercial suppliers like Peoples and Columbia Gas.
“We move the energy that keeps America moving,” she said.
But, Charletta said, Equitrans is increasingly storing and transporting something else—water, both clean and recycled—for use in fracking operations. Some of its pipeline projects are strictly for water transport. And with a footprint above both the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, the company is positioned to be the premier midstream provider in the Appalachian basin.
And with its acquisitions and expansion, Charletta said the company plans to expand something else.
“We are looking to increase our supplier and contractor base,” she said. “So, in the coming months, we will be setting up a workshop with the Chamber on doing business with Equitrans.”
Chamber President and CEO Doris Carson Williams said, if an introductory meeting she had with Charletta’s boss, Equitrans CEO Thomas Karam is any indication, she expects big things.
“We just had a chat and within 20 minutes he’s joined the Chamber as a Presidential Roundtable member,” said Williams.
Following her presentation, Charletta told the New Pittsburgh Courier that there are more opportunities for small and minority-owned companies to do business with Equitrans than one might think.
“We have thousands of miles of pipeline, hundreds of compressor stations, and we have to build roads, so there’s a lot of infrastructure, and while we’re trying to eliminate tankers eventually, we still have a huge fleet of vehicles,” she said. “Even though we have in-house engineers and attorneys, we contract out some of that work too, and there’s insurance. A lot of what we do is through contractors, so there are opportunities.”
After thanking Charletta, Williams welcomed new members and reminded the audience of several upcoming events including a “Grow with Google” workshop, June 18; a cybersecurity workshop, June 20, and the next PowerBreakfast meeting with speaker Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, June 14.
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This article originally appeared in the New Pittsburgh Courier.